A/N: With a story as popular as Harry Potter, it's rather difficult to write fanfiction, because no matter what idea you come up with, it's almost certain that someone's written it before you. Therefore, you have to come up with some pretty original ideas to make a story your own. I am fairly certain that Lily Evans Potter has been written about by numerous fans on numerous occasions. I'm just following in their footsteps here, but I'm definitely going to try and keep this fiction as original as I possibly can. In the end, I'll leave it up to you, my readers, to determine whether or not I've done this successfully.

Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter or the characters. This is just my interpretation on what might have happened. Because it is just my interpretation, there are bound to be differences somewhere, somehow. For that, I apologize ahead of time.

With all that said, please enjoy, and don't forget to review! Thanks!

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Here I Stand

The Life, Love, and Story of Lily Evans Potter

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There is no such thing as magic.

Anyway, that's what Lily Evans had always told herself. For an eleven year old girl with parents like hers, it was often very difficult trying to reinforce such a rule. Mr. and Mrs. Evans were always off on some wild adventure, hoping to prove that very sentiment absolutely, entirely, and irrefutably false. Magic did exist, they insisted. After all, they had both seen traces of it…

For Lily, and her sister Petunia, Mr. and Mrs. Evans were a downright embarrassment. Their eccentric behavior had won fame at the girls' school, and there was nothing worse for an eleven year old than having famous parents.

As if it hadn't been bad enough growing up! Lily still remembered, with great remorse, her first few days attending school. She had only been five years old – the small, diffident little girl who had shied away from others. From a distance, she had seen her tiny peers playing with expensive dolls and other treats the likes of which she had never been given by her parents. It wasn't that her family was poor… they just didn't spend their money on such trifles. And, as little girls sometimes do, she crawled back home to her older sister and asked why.

"They're too like regular little girls," Petunia had replied, not without a hint of bitterness in her voice. "Ask for a doll if you want, Lily. But if I were you, I'd be grateful for the blankey and the story books you've got. Don't go looking for mom and dad's disappointment."

And so, she hadn't. You would think that in the Evans household, room for imagination would be limitless. But it was surprisingly different. Vacations were always spent on the road, and the Evans often did more searching and quest seeking than relaxing and actually enjoying themselves – at least as far as the two sisters were concerned. At the same time, Lily could honestly not remember once having what one might consider a "normal" conversation with her mother. Not once.

In the end, magic is what came between Lily, Petunia, and their parents. Magic is what separated them, and what distanced them. And the most pathetic thing about it all was that Mr. and Mrs. Evans never even realized it!

"When I grow up," Lily had determined, more than once. "I'm gonna be more normal than anyone else in the world. My kids won't live with this kind of humiliation!"

"Are you kidding?" Petunia had demanded. "When I grow up, I'm not gonna have kids! Can you even imagine how we're gonna turn out? Lily, we're gonna both be worse than Scrooge! I won't put no kid through that!"

Of course, with time, everything changed. With time, Lily grew to be the eleven year old favorite of the Evans household. She was very small, but for such a small little girl, she was all arms and legs. Her hair reached down past her shoulders and was a beautiful blend of red and brown that accented her almond shaped green eyes. She had a freckly face – though she had been told time and time again by hundreds of different people – or so it seemed – that those freckles would fade away by the time she was fifteen. And as far as fashion went, Lily often went out of her way to pick out the prettiest of clothing – just to make up for her lack of girlishness as a child.

She was really a bright, lively thing. She had learned rather early in life to make the most of those times when her parents weren't around. Everyone knew of their peculiarity, but that hardly bothered them when Lily succeeded in making them laugh, or simply making them feel happier than they had felt without her. There was a compelling urge inside Lily's heart that yearned for acceptance from others – which is often the case for small children, but particularly for her. She didn't want her parents, or magic, or anything of that sort, being responsible for branding her a social outcast. In the end, it didn't really matter one way or the other if what the world saw was really her, or just a portrait of what she wanted to be, as long as she was accepted by those she would call her friends.

She did make friends easily enough. Her best friend, however, was Carla Fletcher. Around her, Lily felt like she could be herself, because Carla's parents were Mrs. Evans' closest confidants – and Lily's godparents. The two of them knew each other better than anyone else in the world, and for that matter spent more time together than with anyone else in the world. Lily could not imagine growing up without Carla. They were closer than sisters! They might as well have been sisters, for Lily certainly didn't feel any closer to Petunia.

Petunia dealt with things rather differently. She had grown haughty and spent less and less time at home. At school, she flat-out ignored Lily, and whenever either one of their parents showed up on campus, she would turn and walk the other way. Petunia hated her family's little quirks, and much rather preferred snubbing them altogether.

So it was with mixed emotions that sunny afternoon in the summer of 1971 that Lily received her acceptance letter to a certain school made for a certain kind of person.

It had come in the mail for Miss L. Evans. The envelope was like nothing Lily had ever seen before. Shaped out of yellowish parchment, it was thick, heavy, and addressed in emerald ink. Her parents found that simply enchanting, especially when they turned it over and found that it was sealed with purple wax in the form of a coat of arms. Lily, who had seen many different coats of arms in her day from all her family's travels, did not recognize it whatsoever. It was of a lion, an eagle, a badger, and a snake, all surrounding a large H. What it represented was anyone's guess.

"I suppose you had better open it, Lily," Mrs. Evans urged her, as she and her husband looked on. Petunia was standing on the other side of the room, pouring a glass of lemonade as if she had no other care in the world.

Cautiously, not knowing what to expect, Lily opened the letter and found herself reading it aloud: "Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Headmaster: Albus Dumbledore." It went on to list the man's various different ranks and achievements. "Dear Miss Evans, we are pleased to inform you that you have been accepted at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Please find enclosed a list of all necessary books and equipment, as well as the letter of introduction to give to your parents, as they might find this honor to be unexpected. Terms begin on September 1. We await your owl by no later than July 31. Yours sincerely, Minerva McGonagall, Deputy Headmistress."

Petunia turned from the counter with an annoyed look spread across her face. "What kind of smart-ass prank is that?"

"Petunia!" Mr. Evans turned towards his daughter in shock. "Your mouth!" The girl took a quick sip of her lemonade, turning away as she did so.

Lily felt her fist crumpling the letter, even as tears stung in her eyes. She couldn't help but agree with her sister – that someone was cruel enough to play a prank on them like this – and it hurt her to think that her family stood out enough to merit such unwanted attention.

Mrs. Evans, however, had reached for the envelope, and was now holding out the so-called "letter of introduction" for herself and her husband to read together. What it said, Lily had no idea, for she had fled from the room. This was the story of her life. Her parents were both freaks and now the world was taking it out on her; mocking them at her own expense.

She was preparing to storm out of the house and flee over to Carla's, but before she could even throw open the front door, the doorbell rang. Lily stopped dead in her tracks, a look of panic in her eyes. Who was it and why had they decided to come now?

Behind her, she could hear her parents talking excitedly as they hustled into the front hall. She herself could hardly move, and her heart was pounding heavily in her throat. A strange sense of foreboding had come over her, and even though she savagely repeated over and over again in her mind that magic did not exist, it didn't help.

"Lily, the door!" Mr. Evans stressed, as he and his wife were far too busy fawning over the strange introductory letter that she was still holding onto.

Lily's legs both felt like wooden stumps, but somehow she managed to walk the rest of the way to the door. Turning the knob and opening it, she found herself staring down at the smallest man she had ever seen in her entire life!

Lily Evans was only eleven years old. She wasn't even five feet tall yet, but it didn't seem to make a difference. The man was still decidedly shorter than her, yet old enough to have the fuzziest white hair in existence framing the lower half of his sallow, crinkled face. His beard was also dense and wiry. He dressed in dark, thick green robes, and had enormous, insightful brown eyes.

What sort of prank is this? The man reminded Lily of a dwarf! Who would go so far as to hire a midget and dress him up like a dwarf just to insult her and her family? This was absurd!

"Oh, my…" Mrs. Evans was staring at the man in open mouthed wonder. She didn't seem to think of it as absurd. She seemed to think of it as some kind of miracle. Her husband, too, looked as if the very world was coming to a full circle, and that now there was order and completion when before there had just been chaos.

He had been standing there, staring at an old golden pocket watch, but now he looked up and beamed. "Good afternoon!" He focused on the frozen girl, speaking in a high pitched, squeaky voice. "Lily Evans, I presume?"

Lily didn't answer. She simply stared at him, overwhelmed. Her mother, however, was quick to rush forward. "Yes! Yes, this is Lily! I feel like I've seen you before! Haven't I?"

The small man nodded, stepping through the threshold and into their home as Mrs. Evans gestured for him to do so. She carefully held Lily out of the way, closing the door behind him.

"Yes," he was calmly stating. "I do believe we have met before. In preparation for this day, you and your husband have been allowed to witness certain small things to get your minds more open." He turned back towards Lily. "We have been expecting you, Miss Evans."

Lily's mouth opened as if she wanted to speak, but for the life of her she couldn't get out a single word. There's no such thing as magic! There's no such thing as magic!

"Though I must admit the two of you have been a wee bit of trouble even before the girl was born," he continued on, eyeing Mr. and Mrs. Evans both with good-natured criticism, so that neither one of them could have possibly ever looked better complimented! Lily was horrified. "The Ministry knew right away that for a pair of muggles, you'd either have a witch in the family before long or you'd expose the magical world for what it is. They've tried keeping you both in check, but your hearts keep getting in the way. What nuisances." He shook his head and sighed. "I'm Filius Flitwick, by the way. Hopefully, I'll be teaching your daughter at Hogwarts this September."

Petunia had stepped out of the kitchen, and was now staring at the scene rather expressionlessly. If any of this shocked her, she hid it well. But her mind was probably still marking the whole affair as a kind of elaborate prank, and was therefore probably enjoying herself immensely behind that mask of composure.

"I'm here to represent the school," Flitwick explained. "As muggles, you can't be expected to understand what is to happen and what is to be expected and all that sort of thing. I have been made available to assist you in any way possible."

Lily, who had been taking the time to slowly creep backwards, now flew out of the front hall. Her parents both whirled around in surprise, and Petunia nearly dropped her glass of lemonade. But Lily ignored all that. The only thing that mattered to her was getting away. This whole thing had to be a joke, but something inside her sensed it wasn't. And never had she felt more afraid.

There is no such thing as magic! Lily had spent the last eleven years of her life clinging to that fact, that truth, and taking comfort in it. Her parents had quirks. Had fancies. But none of them were true, and Lily would go to hell before she would allow herself to be drawn into their little world of make-believe.

She sprinted out the back door and into the yard. Several large shrubs separated her family's lawn from the neighbors' lawn – or more specifically, from the Fletchers' lawn. Carla was over there tossing a ball for her dog to fetch, but she turned towards Lily in surprise as the girl passed through the bushes. At the same time, the dog forgot the ball and pranced towards her with a wagging tail.

"What's wrong?" Carla demanded as Lily collapsed, throwing her arms around the dog's neck as if it were her own. "Lily, what happened?"

"I must be growing crazy!" she panted, gasping for breath as the tears stung in her eyes and blurred her vision. The whole world seemed to be spinning. "I just got a letter in the mail accepting me into this school that's now got my parents' fancy! And this man appeared on our doorstep – I swear he's an ugly little hobbit or something! This whole thing's got to be a joke! I… I…" She shook her head, tightly clenching her eyes shut as she tried to block everything out of her mind.

Carla came and quietly sat down beside her, no doubt too baffled to understand what was really going on. She'd figure it all out soon enough, she was sure. Her parents were friends with Lily's, and whatever happened, they'd be quick to explain it all. But until then, Carla was more than willing to offer Lily her shoulder, as she had often done in the past whenever Mr. or Mrs. Evans had done something to upset the girl. This moment would be no different.

But what Carla didn't know, and couldn't possibly understand, was that it actually was different. It was more different than she had ever, and could ever, reasonably imagine.

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Dedication: I dedicate this story to my sister. She's my best friend, and she helped me piece together a very important part of this fic. Without her, I wouldn't get anywhere in the world, so Michelle… this is for you.

A/N: I hope everyone's enjoying this. Please don't forget to review! I appreciate it so much. Thanks!